At the conclusion of Firedrake, the temporal instability of Kirov again sends the ship off into the ether where they soon encounter a derelict warship, its innards and crew warped and melded into one another in a way that Fedorov has worried about for some time. Kirov’s own reactor room has shown signs of instability, and two more crewman have gone missing.
Thinking to reverse the shift, they go to the Kamenski Device but find it is not cooperative, apparently
wanting another key before it will do what they ask. Fearing they might be marooned in the year 2030, Fedorov soon learns that they are no longer in the future of the war they have been fighting in
2026. The history in the Pacific is badly skewed, and Imperial Japan remains a prominent world power with an extensive empire that even extends to dominion over China.
Until they can discover a way to make a graceful exit, Karpov decides to head south towards New Britain,
where Fedorov learns the US and British have bases. They have already tangled with a Japanese warship, so now it is any port in a storm….
Alpha Strike opens with more strange signs that the ship is undergoing another temporal shift, and readers fearing the war in 2026 was being left behind will soon rest easy. The author has pledged to take that war to its rightful conclusion by volume eight of this season, whereupon he will then deal with the mission Karpov and Fedorov are scheming on in the grand facedown with Ivan Volkov.
Learning they actually crossed Meridians to a different world in that last temporal shift, Fedorov
speculates that the two worlds, the war in 2026 and the one where they butted heads with the IJN, are now running parallel to one another. As it is impossible for two separate futures to coexist for
very long, Time is seeking to choose one or the other as the new Prime Meridian.
Ivan Volkov has done his worst with the assassination of Stalin and Sergei Kirov, radically undermining the
future where the war in 2026 is still raging. So Fedorov and Karpov are planning a grand counterattack, but to do so they will have to either cross the temporal gulf between the two parallel worlds
again, or get far enough into the past on their own Meridian to reach the Prime and prevent Volkov’s mischief.
In the meantime, the war in 2026 continues as the US fights to neutralize the reef island bases in the
South China Sea, and then masses its four active carriers for the battle to reduce the Chinese position on Luzon. The heart of this action is the title of the book, an “Alpha Strike”
where the lion’s share of the carrier air wings takes flight in a massive air operation. China has heavily reinforced Luzon with SAM and SSM battalions, and many more fighters, but the power of
the US Carrier Strike Groups is awesome when they combine on either offense or defense, as Admiral Zheng Bao soon sees.
The Chinese must now lay plans for the future, as they know the war will inevitably roll north towards
Taiwan and the Ryukyu Island chain. As they look to unite their south and east seas fleets into one massive armada, they also begin a preemptive war against Japan, aiming to destroy the Japanese Navy
no matter what the outcome of the war in general.
Alpha Strike presents all this action in detail, air strikes and an amphibious landing on Mischief Reef, and the grand battle in the skies over Luzon before it shifts north to welcome back an old warrior. Marooned behind a desk on Hainan Island after being relieved of command when his Operation Sea Eagle ended in failure, China now moves to an all hands on deck urgency in the war, as it is rolling all too close to their sovereign soil. So Admiral Wu Jinlong returns, and he is given the mission to use a portion of the East Seas Fleet to engage and destroy the Japanese Navy. Along the way, the Chinese show they have a few surprises up their sleeves, and then Vladimir Karpov is asked to take on a mission that soon leads to a dramatic escalation of events in these dangerous waters.
Ride with the Hellcats and F-35’s over the Philippines as Alpha Strike lights the fires to take the war to a whole new level.
Coming on or Before Oct 1, 2020